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'Still a lot of work to do' - Hansen

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Lynn McConnell     17 Jun 2017     Getty Images

Coach Steve Hansen, while pleased with the 78-0 win over Samoa, and the skills and combinations that evolved as the game progressed, said nailing those key skills would be vital because experience had shown when they were well executed the side's chance to win was improved.
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"It was a pretty good start, but there is still a lot of work to do," Hansen said.

He acknowledged it had been difficult for Samoa as many of their players had not been in action for five weeks but it had been a good run for the All Blacks. They got some good combinations working and there were some nice touches while there were no injuries that were apparent after the game.

Assistant coach Ian Foster said the side had been asked a lot of questions in the first 20 minutes as the Samoans came out with a lot of sting. The response hadn't been perfect but had improved.

Captain Ben Smith said he was pleased with the way the side maintained its skill levels, especially as the game opened up. At the start of the game the All Blacks had been under a lot of pressure and it had been a case of getting into the right positions defensively to deal with the Samoan approach.

"Early on they were looking to get through us in the mid-field," he said.

The side had responded and Smith said he had enjoyed the whole experience of being captain. It had been a busy week, especially in having to deal with a lot of smaller details that he normally wasn't involved it. But he said he had found it enjoyable.



Hansen said Smith had an outstanding week as leader. It wasn't easy to come in as a part-time leader not knowing how many games would be involved in the job but he had done well and had a big future in the role.

He responded about the All Blacks' ability at the set-piece by saying that since he had been involved with the side since 2004 they had been told every year they would be targeted at the set-piece.

"So it's a great challenge for us. We'll get ourselves ready for it and hopefully we can match them, if not better them," he said.

"We're excited, you wait 12 years for this and you don't want to miss it. The Lions have to face the Maoris in Rotorua on Saturday night and they will throw the kitchen sink at them," he said.

Damian McKenzie's placement at first five-eighths had not been requested by the All Blacks' selectors. They had a policy of never asking Super Rugby sides or national sides to select players for certain positions.

Hansen said McKenzie was pretty clear where he saw his future and with Aaron Cruden heading overseas he saw a role for himself at first five-eighths for the Chiefs.

He added the management had met with the French referee Mathieu Reynaud on Thursday night and got some clarity about the scrum laws which caused issues for the Crusaders.

The issue he said came down to something Super Rugby teams had been asked to trial at scrums by World Rugby.